Fixing the Momofuku Milk Bar Chocolate Chip Cake

The Chocolate Chip Cake featured in the Milk Bar cookbook was the sole reason I purchased the book in the first place. The crazy layers, the exposed sides, the seemingly exotic passion fruit, what was not to love? So I made the cake following the instructions (well documented online by Hummingbird High), and found it pretty meh for the following reasons:

1) Not enough coffee frosting, and coffee flavor not coming through
2) Passion fruit curd tasted like butter, passion fruit flavor completely masked
3) Soaking the cake in passion fruit puree (I used the Goya frozen pack kind) was too sour

So, second time around, I re-made this cake making the following changes:

1) Made it 3-layer rectangle cake, 5 x 10 inches
2) Combined Milk Bar’s passion fruit curd recipe with this one
3) Re-did the coffee frosting by making this swiss meringue buttercream and adding cold espresso
4) Eliminated the chocolate crumble (just simplifying and getting rid of some sweetness) — though I do think the crumble would make a nice decorative topping for this cake.
5) Not soaking cake with passion fruit puree

1) Make two 9×13 inch chocolate chip cakes
2) Make Milk Bar’s passion fruit curd and then make Live Bake Love’s curd and whisk the 2 different batches together
3) Make coffee swiss meringue buttercream
4) Assemble cake

Milk Bar Chocolate Chip Cake – Modified

115g unsalted butter at room temperature
225g granulated sugar (25g less than original recipe)
45g light brown sugar (15g less than original recipe)
3 eggs at room temperature
110g buttermilk at room temperature
75g grapeseed oil
12g vanilla extract
185g cake flour, sifted
4g baking powder
4g kosher salt
150g mini chocolate chips (I used less)

To make 3 layers, make this recipe twice, each time baking in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Cut each 9 x 13 cake down to 5 x 10 and use the extra pieces for the middle layer. Follow instructions on Hummingbird High for making the cake.

Milk Bar Passion Fruit Curd

100g passion fruit puree
65g sugar
2 eggs
1 gelatin sheet
170g cold butter
2g kosher salt

After making the Milk Bar Passion Fruit Curd, make a second batch of curd using Live Bake Love’s recipe and combine the two and refrigerate to set.

Live Bake Love Passion Fruit Curd

6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar (modified from original)
1/2 cup passion fruit puree
4 Tbsp cold butter

The following recipe for buttercream will make more than you need, so next time I would try 1/2 to 3/4 batch of the buttercream. Also, I plan to reduce the amount of sugar I use next time, this was a bit sweet for me.

Sweetapolita’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream

300g egg whites
500g sugar (reduce next time)
680g butter (I used 570g and found it more than enough)
1 heaping Tbsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
+ 1/4 cup cold brewed coffee/espresso

Make the buttercream as directed on Sweetapolita’s site, and then whip in cold coffee. Next time I will try and make a stronger brew with less liquid so it’s easier to incorporate into the buttercream–aiming for maybe just 1/8 cup of coffee.

Assembling the Cake

Refrigerate the cakes overnight
Next  day, place bottom layer on your assembly board
Spread passion fruit curd on bottom layer
Take two half-pieces of cake and make middle layer
Spread curd on middle layer
Place top layer on curd
Chill for 30 minutes in fridge
Trim cake to neaten up the sides
Crumb coat with the coffee buttercream
Add second coat of coffee buttercream